Building a lasting legacy is not something that just happens overnight, no matter the basketball program or the overall talent of the team. For Grinnell College, a distinguished academic and athletic NCAA Division lll college in Central Iowa, their legacy of unique, shooting-heavy play has been 20+ years in the making.
When David Arseneault Sr. became Head Men’s Basketball Coach in 1989, he had an ambitious goal of creating a program that truly stands out above the other 435 Division lll colleges and universities across the country. Coach David had his work cut out for him, the program hadn’t seen a winning season in over 25 years. Which is why he decided to develop something completely different, the Grinnell System.
The Grinnell System is a fast-tempo style of basketball that relies on 3-point shots, constant full-court pressure, and continuous substitutions (more than a dozen players can get in each game). Over the course of 26 years running this system, Grinnell was able to clinch 5 conference championships and 11 postseason appearances. The program was also able to set NCAA records on fire, with one individual scoring 138 points in a single game.
In 2012, Jack Taylor set the record for most points scored in a game, and set another record the following year, being the only player in NCAA history to score over 100 points in a game twice in his career. Even after 2013, Grinnell kept putting shots up and breaking records. The team achieved the title of the NCAA’s National Scoring Champions 16 out of their previous 18 seasons. Fast forward to 2018, Coach David Arseneault Sr. made the decision to retire, leaving the legacy of the Grinnell Men’s Basketball team to he son, David Arseneault Jr.
Dave Jr. played at Grinnell under his father in the early 2000s and set an NCAA record for most assists in a game in 2008. Dave Jr. was also the team’s Assistant Coach from 2012-2014, and was later named Head Coach of NBA D-League team the Reno Bighorns, now known as the Stockton Kings, and brought a version of the Grinnell System with him. Coach Dave returned to Grinnell in 2016 as Assistant Coach until the 2018 season when he was officially named Head Coach.
MAKING THE switch
Coach Dave knew that he would continue utilizing the Grinnell System, but knew that the program needed new practice methods. Grinnell’s style of play is extremely shot intensive and prior to 2018, training was mostly partner shooting and static drill work leaving them limited when it came to shot training. Which is why Coach Dave decided to upgrade the program’s shooting machine equipment to a Dr. Dish Basketball shooting machine.
Since switching to Dr. Dish, the Grinnell Men’s Basketball program has been able to focus more on player development and purposeful training. “It was a no-brainer decision for us to switch to the Dr. Dish in 2018. The customer service is top-notch and the functionality of the Dish is perfect for all levels”, Coach Dave stated. When the goal of the entire game plan is to put up shots, you have to be able to effectively train for all in-game shooting situations. It’s also critical that each player is able to perfect their craft for higher shooting percentages and on-court efficiency.
With this shift to more focused training, the team has been able to average 50-60 field goal attempts a game. Grinnell then set yet another NCAA record with 111 shot attempts in a single game during their ‘22-’23 season. “We’ve been so pleased with the results, we just recently purchased a second Dr. Dish, the CT+.”
The CT+ makes it easier than ever for the team to manage their time with being able to easily, and quickly, get shots up. There’s no stress on budgeting extra practice time to make sure everyone gets their required 100 3-point shots in because all players have 24/7 access to the program’s machines. And with the drills, competitions, and Team Leaderboards custom to the CT+, “it makes it easy to get players into the gym, because they want to be in the gym shooting with the Dish.” Coach Dave and his staff knew they had to continue to give their team unlimited flexibility and accessibility for the best interest of the athletes.
“The Dr. Dish CT+ allows our basketball players to get a ton of shots up in a short amount of time. It’s incredibly easy to set up and there are a variety of options depending on the type of workout a player wants. Given the busy schedules of our student-athletes, it’s perfect for our team because the Dish makes training and shooting convenient!”
striving to break more records
The CT+ opens up a whole new world of training for Grinnell with the technology and innovation the machine provides. Like, helping create consistency in each shooter's shot form done through repetition. And allowing for more drills than ever thought possible! By eliminating a middle man or having to chase balls, there’s more opportunity to actually focus on skill work.
Just like the CT+, Grinnell Basketball wants to continue to stand out, be cutting edge, and be innovators with their high-speed style of play. Coach Dave will continue leading Grinnell’s legacy by focusing on perfecting shooting craft, utilizing the best tech in the game, and of course, striving to lead the nation in 3s made as well as 3s attempted again this ‘23-’24 season and seasons to come.